The current uniform for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts is illustrated below. Note the RED shoulder loops, which distinguish Boy Scouts and Boy Scouters from Varsity Scouts and Varsity Scouters. The Varsity Scout shoulder loops are blaze (orange).
Other than the shoulder loops, hat, neckerchief, and some Varsity-specific insignia items (which will be shown on a Varsity Scout page), both Boy and Varsity Scouts wear this same field uniform (if they can), as shown here on this page.
The Scout shown here is wearing insignia on the LEFT shoulder and LEFT pocket. From top to bottom on the sleeve, the insignia is:
- Council Shoulder Patch emblem: Each of the BSA's local Councils and the National Council has a special shoulder patch which illustrates elements of the territory served by the Council. During National Jamboree years, special Jamboree Shoulder Patches (JSPs) are worn by those participating in the Jamboree from that local Council. Six months after the conclusion of the Jamboree, the JSP should be removed and replaced by the current CSP of the local Council for proper uniforming.
- Unit numbers: Unit numbers come in two varieties presently: a partially-embrordered single or set of numbers denoting the unit; or a fully embrordered single or set of numbers denoting the Troop number. Either is acceptable, although for proper uniforming, the present partially-embrordered numbers should be used. Above the unit numbers may go a Veteran's Bar which indicates the tenured years of that unit.
- Poisition Patch Troop members serving as an elected or appointed Troop officer should wear the appropriate position patch (badge of office) indicating the position serving. Those no longer serving in those positions should remove their patches and keep them in a safe place at home. Those Boy or Varsity Scouts serving as Den Chiefs have two options:
Wearing the Den Chief or WEBELOS Den Chief cord as shown above WITHOUT THE DEN CHIEF badge of office. or...
Wearing the Den Chief badge of office WITHOUT wearing the Den Chief cord.
- Trained strip: Those youth and adults whom have completed a training course for the position that they CURRENTLY HOLD should wear the TRAINED strip. This strip should be worn immediately below and touching the badge of office (position patch).
On the left pocket should go the following insignia:
- Centered on the pocket is Scout rank. ONLY SCOUTS wear ranks; adults wear the appropriate square knot insignia to denote Eagle Scout and other rank earned as a youth. The rank emblem (in this case, Life Scout) is worn centered on the left pocket.
- If a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout is the holder of the Arrow of Light, Cub Scouting's highest award, he wears the Arrow of Light BELOW the left pocket. On the current khaki-tan shirts, the pockets taper down to a point...the Arrow of Light should be centered at that point and NOT sewn to the pocket. If the Scout wears the older khaki shirts, the Arrow of Light is worn so that the top edge of Arrow of Light emblem touches the bottom edge of the left uniform pocket. Again, ONLY SCOUTS wear the Arrow of Light; adults wear the Arrrow of Light square knot insignia to denote their attainment of this award.
- Nothing else is worn below the pocket.
Above the pocket would go year pins(if earned) and square knot insignia (if earned or received). Adults only may wear special 50th or 75th Annivsary Stripes above the square knots but below the World Crest emblem. Above those items would go the World Crest if not already pre-sewn onto the shirt.
The Scout belt should be the belt worn by Scouts and Scouters. The beads and holder shown above left is an optional item available to units to recognize immediate progress toward Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class rank as well as Troop and District/Council activities and events.
Neckerchiefs are a Troop option. If worn, the neckerchief should be worn UNDER the collar of the uniform shirt as shown above and below. Wood Badgers belonging to units without a designated neckerchief should wear the Wood Badge neckerchief the same manner as shown here.
Hats are also a Troop option. Check with your unit to insure that you're getting and wearing the correct hat. The second illustration shown below shows the merit badge sash and the activity uniform for Boy Scouts.
The merit badge sash is worn during formal activities and events, and not during Troop meetings or campouts. Only one sash may be worn at any time. Merit badges only are worn on the FRONT of the sash. On the back of the sash, additional merit badges may be sewn and temporary insignia may be sewn. "Temporary insignia" is defined by the BSA as special insignia for participating in unit, District, Council or national events or programs. Previous rank, service stars and pins are NOT to be worn on the sash. The Varsity Scout Letter may be worn at the bottom of the front of the sash by Varsity Scouts who have earned the Letter.
Merit badges may be worn in any order that the Scout chooses, and not necessarily in alphabetical nor "required-non required" order. Most Scouts choose to wear merit badges in the order in which they have earned them. Note also that the merit badge sash is worn
On the wide sash, three merit badges should be worn in a row; on the narrow sash, two merit badges should be worn in a row in alternating rows.
Under the sash, on the right side of the shirt would go the following insignia from top to bottom of the shirt:
- Jamboree Insignia: The BSA keeps going back and forth; here's the current policy: ONLY ONE Jamboree emblem (one World/International or one National) is to be worn. I would imagine this policy was made because over the years, the size of the Jamboree emblems have been increasing, especially the BSA's National Jamboree emblems.
- Interpreter Strips: Take a look at the interpreter strip information for more guidance. For best uniforming, no more than three narrow-sized strips should be worn at any one time.
- Order of the Arrow insignia: The Order of the Arrow has "dibs" on the right pocket flap. While other local Councils have developed special insignia for Scouts and Cubs to wear on the pocket flap, only Order of the Arrow Lodge insignia should be worn (a current OA flap or a special OA activity or service flap) from THE LODGE IN WHICH YOU ARE A CURRENT MEMBER OF. Those Arrowmen without a current Lodge affiation should not wear a flap but instead wear the Arrow pin suspended from the right pocket flap button.
- Temporary Insignia: ONE temporary patch or a temporary patch with segmented patches not to exceed the dimensions of the right pocket are to be worn on the field uniform. Patches suspended from the right pocket button are considered as "sewn on" for proper uniforming. "Temporary insignia" is defined by the BSA as special insignia for participating in unit, District, Council or national events or programs. Previous rank, service stars and pins are NOT to be worn on the pocket.
- A special "Recruiter" strip may be worn below the right pocket by members of local Councils that authorizes the wearing of such a strip. In other local Councils, no other strips or patches should be worn below the right pocket.
The activity uniform (right side) is worn during travelling or other occasions in which the field uniform would not be appropriate wear. The Wood Badge is NOT worn with this uniform; however, a small pin denoting the rank of the Scout may be worn on the left side below the words "Boy Scout" or the Universal Emblem as shown (there are two versions of the shirts which were made:
one version has the words "Boy Scout" or "Varsity" below the Universal emblem or the special BSA emblem; another version does not have any lettering below the emblems).
I have seen Wood Badgers wear the small Wood Badge beads and axe-log combination pin in gold below the "Boy Scout" emblem and words.